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Y.Z. Kami

Night and Day

January 17–February 25, 2023
555 West 24th Street, New York

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view with Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XIII (2020) Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view with Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XIII (2020)

Artwork © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Y.Z. Kami, Messenger IV, 2022 Oil on linen, 90 × 54 inches (228.6 × 137.2 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Messenger IV, 2022

Oil on linen, 90 × 54 inches (228.6 × 137.2 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting VI, 2019 Oil on linen, 90 × 108 inches (228.6 × 274.3 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting VI, 2019

Oil on linen, 90 × 108 inches (228.6 × 274.3 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XV, 2022 Oil on linen, 108 × 60 inches (274.3 × 152.4 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XV, 2022

Oil on linen, 108 × 60 inches (274.3 × 152.4 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XIV, 2022 Oil on linen, 67 ½ × 45 inches (171.5 × 114.3 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting XIV, 2022

Oil on linen, 67 ½ × 45 inches (171.5 × 114.3 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Aïsha II, 2021 Oil on linen, 7 × 4 ½ inches (17.8 × 11.4 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Aïsha II, 2021

Oil on linen, 7 × 4 ½ inches (17.8 × 11.4 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Aïsha, 2021–22 Oil on linen, 72 × 54 inches (182.9 × 137.2 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Aïsha, 2021–22

Oil on linen, 72 × 54 inches (182.9 × 137.2 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Lu, 2022 Oil on linen, 66 × 45 inches (167.6 × 114.3 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Lu, 2022

Oil on linen, 66 × 45 inches (167.6 × 114.3 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Ava VI, 2022 Oil on linen, 71 × 39 inches (180.3 × 99.1 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Ava VI, 2022

Oil on linen, 71 × 39 inches (180.3 × 99.1 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Isaac in Purple Shirt, 2022 Oil on linen, 58 ½ × 36 inches (148.6 × 91.4 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Isaac in Purple Shirt, 2022

Oil on linen, 58 ½ × 36 inches (148.6 × 91.4 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Woman in Dark Sweater, 2022 Oil on linen, 63 × 48 inches (160 × 121.9 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Woman in Dark Sweater, 2022

Oil on linen, 63 × 48 inches (160 × 121.9 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, The Monk, 2022 Oil on linen, 63 × 36 inches (160 × 91.4 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, The Monk, 2022

Oil on linen, 63 × 36 inches (160 × 91.4 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Man with Blue Eyes, 2022 Oil on linen, 60 ¾ × 40 ½ inches (154.3 × 102.9 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, Man with Blue Eyes, 2022

Oil on linen, 60 ¾ × 40 ½ inches (154.3 × 102.9 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, The Old Gardener, 2022 Oil on linen, 62 × 43 inches (157.5 × 109.2 cm)© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

Y.Z. Kami, The Old Gardener, 2022

Oil on linen, 62 × 43 inches (157.5 × 109.2 cm)
© Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

About

Gagosian is pleased to announce Night and Day, an exhibition of new paintings by Y.Z. Kami. Opening January 17 at 555 West 24th Street, this will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York since 2014.

Night and Day juxtaposes two distinct bodies of work by Kami: the portrait paintings that have been at the center of his practice for more than three decades, and Night Paintings, a series that he began in 2017. In conjunction with Endless Prayers, Dome paintings, and other ongoing projects, the Iranian American artist’s oeuvre represents a deep consideration of representation and abstraction, humanism and spirituality.

Each of Kami’s large-scale painted portraits depicts a single face in muted colors on an opaque ground. Frontally composed and closely cropped, Kami’s self-absorbed subjects are removed from the specificity of context. From Aïsha (2021–22) and Lu (2022) to The Monk (2022) and Woman in Dark Sweater (2022), these paintings are titled by first names or descriptions, marking a continuum between individual identity and universality. Using layers of brushstrokes to blur his subjects’ features, Kami concentrates on the ineffability of individual presence. From longtime friends and acquaintances to strangers he has met in passing, his subjects form an ensemble of varied age, gender, and ethnicity. Kami’s introspective faces also recall the Fayum portraits of Roman-era Egypt—naturalistic likenesses of the deceased that were affixed to mummies. The works in Night and Day affirm—as do their ancient precedents—the common humanity in our observation of others.

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555 West 24th Street, New York

555 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

+1 212 741 1111
newyork@gagosian.com

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10–6

Press

Gagosian
press@gagosian.com

Hallie Freer
hfreer@gagosian.com
+1 212 744 2313

Polskin Arts
Meagan Jones
meagan.jones@finnpartners.com
+1 212 593 6485

Julia Esposito
julia.esposito@finnpartners.com
+1 212 715 1643

Y.Z. Kami, Night Painting I (for William Blake), 2017–18, oil on linen, 99 × 99 inches (251.5 × 251.5 cm) © Y.Z. Kami. Photo: Rob McKeever

In Conversation
Setsuko and Y.Z. Kami

The artists address their shared ardor for poetry, the surfaces of painting, and nature.

Y.Z. Kami and Steven Henry Madoff sit in front two of the artist's paintings

In Conversation
Y.Z. Kami and Steven Henry Madoff

Y.Z. Kami and curator Steven Henry Madoff sit down in Kami’s studio to discuss the artist’s exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain. Entitled Y.Z. Kami: De forma silenciosa/In a Silent Way, the survey features portraits; images of buildings, both sacred and ordinary; a sculptural installation of loose bricks inscribed with texts; and recent dreamlike abstractions.

A painting in dark blue and white. The image depicts a group of men in white linen encircling a platform on which a couple of them are standing. The standing figures are cut off from the waist up as the top half of the painting dissolves into solid midnight blue.

Y.Z. Kami: Dematerialized

In celebration of the release of the monograph Y.Z. Kami: Works 1985–2018, and in advance of an exhibition of new works by the artist at Gagosian, Rome, Ziba Ardalan and Elena Geuna sat down to discuss Y.Z. Kami’s work. The conversation was moderated by Gagosian’s Kay Pallister.

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Notre-Dame), 2019.

For Notre-Dame

An exhibition at Gagosian, Paris, is raising funds to aid in the reconstruction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris following the devastating fire of April 2019. Gagosian directors Serena Cattaneo Adorno and Jean-Olivier Després spoke to Jennifer Knox White about the generous response of artists and others, and what the restoration of this iconic structure means across the world.

Y.Z. Kami, Gold Dome, 2017, gold leaf on linen, 63 × 70 inches (160 × 177.8 cm). Mr. and Mrs. David Su Collection.

Y.Z. Kami: Luminosities

Elena Geuna interviews the artist on the subjects of his childhood, his approach to portraiture, and the centrality of light in his practice.

Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2019

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2019

The Summer 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Afrylic by Ellen Gallagher on its cover.